Ryan brothers tone down the talk

Former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan is delaying surgery to see his sons face off. (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan is delaying surgery to see his sons face off. (Bill Kostroun/AP)
Posted: September 06, 2011

When the Ryan brothers and their father, former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, get together, you can usually expect a laugh riot.

Last year, when New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan faced twin and then-Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, the two traded barbs all week leading up to the game.

This time the trash talk is being dialed back.

After giving his father's phone number to a reporter Monday, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan asked a favor. "Tell him I love him, OK?"

It was a poignant request considering Buddy Ryan again has cancer. This time, it's in a salivary gland.

On Sunday night, Rob and Rex will try to outdo each other in a nationally televised season opener on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, just minutes from the World Trade Center memorial site.

The elder Ryan is expected to be in attendance at MetLife Stadium after delaying surgery. "They said go ahead and go," 80-year-old Buddy Ryan said. "I've got to be able to do something."

Given the close-knit nature of the family and his father's history of beating melanoma, Rob isn't surprised Buddy will be a face in the crowd.

"That's just the way he is," Rob said. "This is a big thing for him, a big thing for the Ryans."

But unlike last year, don't expect to see Rex imitating his brother by dressing up with a pillow under his shirt and a blond wig.

"I don't think so. He knows that it's 9/11. . . . This is a hell of a lot bigger than Ryan vs. Ryan, I can promise you that."

The day the Colts dreaded

The unthinkable suddenly seems possible in Indianapolis - opening the season without Peyton Manning.

The four-time league-MVP who has never missed a start in his NFL career is doubtful for Sunday's game at Houston because of lingering soreness in his back following offseason neck surgery. If Manning sits, it would be the first time the NFL's active iron man missed a meaningful game after 227 consecutive starts, including the playoffs.


Payton extended

Sean Payton, who was a schoolboy in Delaware County from kindergarten through seventh grade, plans to stick with the team that gave him his first shot as an NFL head coach. The Saints announced that Payton, who coached New Orleans to its first Super Bowl championship two seasons ago, has agreed to an extension through 2015. The terms weren't released.

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.

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